This month I had the pleasure of talking with Liz Earle about my favourite subject which is of course, how to get rid of clothes moth naturally with The Moth Decoy. You may think, “hang on a minute, Liz Earle focusses on wellbeing matters and women’s health so why is she interested in clothes moth?”
Well, in addition to being a wellbeing guru, Liz is also very active in ethical issues concerning farming and the environment. It was through this avenue that she discovered the technology, which was originally developed for farming and which fortuitously became The Moth Decoy. This was at a similar time as we at Total Wardrobe Care were researching this technology for our sustainable product range. It just so happens that Liz has been one of our longest subscribing customers, in fact she is so delighted with how it has helped her to get rid of clothes moths without using chemicals that she invited me to talk with her on one of her ‘Instagram Lives’ about the product and how it works.
Where did The Moth Decoy come from?
The technology behind The Moth Decoy was developed in the 2000’s by a UK based R&D firm which was developing environmentally friendly products for use in agriculture. Their aim was to help growers reduce the number of pesticide sprays on food crops. All crops have a wide range of insect pests which eat them and a surprising number of them are moths. As with our precious silk and cashmere, it’s the moth larvae that do the damage to crops by creating holes in the food which in turn encourages other crop diseases and spoilage. When the larvae become adult moths, they mate to create the next generation of crop munching larvae and each generation gets bigger and bigger if nothing is done about it.
Reducing moths by reducing mating
The technology that was developed focussed on disrupting the mating process; think birth control. If the amount of mating could be reduced then subsequent larvae could be reduced and if used consistently, the moth population could be reduced by a sustainable product that doesn’t actually kill any moths at all. So how does it work?
The forces of attraction
When a female moth is ready to mate she releases a pheromone from a gland on her abdomen. It’s just like a perfume which only the male moth of the same species can detect. The male moth uses the pheromone plume like a guide wire to find the female. The chemical structure of the pheromone is specific to the species of moth, so only a male Clothes moth can detect the pheromone released by the female Clothes moth.
The Moth Decoy consists of a natural food grade wax powder called Carnauba wax, an ingredient which is also used extensively in the skincare industry. When ground into a powder, it becomes electrostatic. This means that just as a balloon sticks to you if you rub it on your jumper, the powder sticks to insects when they flutter around it. The Carnauba wax powder is formulated with the pheromone of the clothes moth, compressed into a neat tablet and then the birth control happens!
How the Moth Decoy works
So here we have the Moth Decoy, (featured image) a tablet made of compressed natural wax powder and clothes moth pheromone. Think of the tablet as a substitute female moth abdomen. The tablet emits a synthetic version of the pheromone of the female clothes moth, which drifts throughout the room and catches the attention of male clothes moths who fly their way up the pheromone plume to the tablet where they flutter their wings and become coated in pheromone infused powder. The coated male moth is first and foremost confused and overwhelmed by the pheromone on his body that he can no longer find any real females. He also now smells like a female clothes moth and attracts other males, confusing them in the process! All of the confusion and disruption leads to a reduction in mating, eggs, larvae and damage.
Join our community of Moth Decoy subscribers
The Moth Decoy is a long term product which is designed to be used continuously to reduce moth numbers and keep them away. The amount of pheromone that is formulated in each tablet is very specific; too much or too little would not be attractive to the male moths, it’s a bit like Goldilocks, the pheromone has to be ‘just right’. The pheromone is a bit like perfume in that its concentration grows weaker over time so it needs replacing every three months. That’s why we offer a handy subscription service which ensures that a fresh Moth Decoy is delivered every three months just in time for you to change it over. One Moth Decoy is sufficient for an average sized room and it can be combined with our fabulous Moth Box which will help you monitor your moth infestation.
Listen to Liz and Julia discuss clothes moth!
It was so lovely to chat with Liz and hear first-hand what problems she has had with clothes moths and her delight at the success of The Moth Decoy. During our discussion, we covered how to use the product and how to combine it with other products in our range including The Moth Trap Box and the Chrysanthemum Moth Spray. We also discussed using a steamer and how to safely store your knitwear for complete clothes moth protection, so grab yourself a cuppa and listen to our full conversation here. Moths, adaptogens and more | Liz Earle Wellbeing – YouTube
Of course, if you need more advice about your clothes moth problem, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Note: For best results, The Moth Decoy and The Moth Box are designed for use in a room, do not place inside a wardrobe or drawers.